In sixth grade, I played little league. My best friend’s dad was a coach, and it looked like fun. I hated it. My whole team was terrible and I was in far right field. I loved books, and band, and drawing. I enjoyed riding my bike, but that was a solo activity…sports just weren’t ever interesting to me. Ironically, I’ve spent the last ten years or so doing illustrations and graphics for little league, soccer, and football leagues. I do have to say though, that drawing things that I’m not interested in has done given me a ton of experience to pull from that I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. I can do more of the things that I want to now, because I’ve done a lot of things that I didn’t want to.
Sometime recently, I was walking through the front door carrying my 9-year-old’s skate bag from Roller Derby Practice the realization hit me. I’m a sports dad. I look up practice drills and skate with the girls several times a week, take them to practice, go to adult league bouts with them, buy them merch, and draw derby graphics and illustrations in my free time. Roller Derby has kind of taken over our lives. Like it does.
So I opened up commissions in my etsy shop for custom cartoon derby portraits and graphics. The difference between doing a commission of something that I love and something that…well, that I’m just doing for a pay check.
Speaking of work that I enjoy. Hex Games has always given me enough room to stretch my abilities and follow my interests as a storyteller, and I feel like my work has grown so much with and (in part) because of the work I’ve done for them. The pencils for American Artifacts 3 was such a joy to work on. There’s a lot of days when even things that I enjoy feel like WORK, but for whatever reason this one felt good. No rushing, no anxiety, no being precious about things. I was able to let myself revise the things that I felt like needed it. I had time to sit and noodle at the things that I wanted to. I was in the zone.
There are days when I worry that the zone is beyond my reach. I’m glad that it’s not.
My goal for Monday is to have the pencils completed for two more portrait commissions. Maybe I’ll clean off my work table too.
Until then have a good weekend, take care and be good!